BY-WAYS - 9/17/42 - A Mother's Day Song - September 3, 1942

A Mother's Song
A mother sang to her child one day - A mother spoke to her child one day
A song of the beautiful home above; In an angry voice, that made him start -
Sang it as only a woman sings As if an arrow had sped that way
Whose heart is full of a mother's love. And pierced his loving and tender heart.
And many a time in the years that came And when he had grown to man's estate,
He heard the sound of that low, sweet song; And was tempted and tried, as all men are,
It took him back to his childhood days, He fell; for that mother's angry words
It kept his feet from the paths of wrong. Had left on his heart a lasting scar. ***** Anonymous

This gentle poem, which must have come from the heart of a good Christian, (and I think it is written by a mother) was sent to me this past week by one whose friendship and interest I treasure - Mrs. Will Hudson, who lives "by the side of the road" (three miles east of Saltsburg). This is the second time she has taken time out of her busy life, to write me a word of encouragement and exhortation. If we have good Christian training in our youth, such as I had at the hands of Aunt Caroline, her children, and Conemaugh Church, that is like building ramparts around the soul, to fortify it from "the enemy." Very often the corroding effect of association with those who take religion lightly, or become cynical, wears down these ramparts in places - weaken them. A letter like Mrs. Hudson's helps to reinforce the weak spots. It is like putting a loose stone back in place, and pouring in fresh concrete. Thank you, Ella Hudson, for the poem, and your letter.

The poem should have great appeal - for both parts of it are true. A certain young man of our acquaintance was brought up in a so-called Christian home, went to Sunday School and church all his young life, and yet he has not publicly acknowledged and accepted Christ as his Savior, nor does he go to church. Up until recently he was terribly cynical about life, and trusted very few people. One day I remarked that he has a very charming mother. "Yes, she is," he agreed, "but she has an awful temper. One time, when I was a kid, I didn't come home in the evening as soon as I should have. She threw me down on the floor, and then she kicked me." That mother has truly left on her son's heart a "lasting scar." To this day he does not love her nor trust her as a son should trust a mother. Therefore it is hard for him to trust the things she stands for. He married recently; and slowly he is learning - through a loyal and steadfast wife - that a great, good God ruleth over all.

On the other hand, every great servant of God had or has a noble mother. The eminent Dr. John Baillie, who heads the department of theology at the University of Edinburgh, told our congregation last year how he learned life's most sustaining truths at his mother's knee. The mother of John Wesley, the great English preacher and founder of Methodism, when asked why she had John and his brothers repeat a certain beautiful Scriptural passage twenty times, replied, "Because nineteen was not enough." The widow of our beloved Will Rogers, in writing the story of her husband's life, tells that Will's tenderest memories were of his gentle mother, who had a low, sweet voice. She died when he was only a boy, but the soft music of her voice lingered with him always, and kept him from doing anything shabby or cheap or mean in his whole life. In all his theatrical life no foul or even risque joke passed his lips. We can well believe that Nancy Hanks Lincoln sang many a "low, sweet song" to the little boy who was to become our tenderest - and, I believe, our noblest President. You know as well as I the immortal tribute he paid his mountain bred mother, who died when he was still a child. "All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." ***

This past week has been what we call "Hudson Week." First, this fine tribulation from Mrs. Will Hudson; then, on Wednesday, as I returned from a church call (driving our Hudson Terraplane), there stood a car with a Pennsylvania license right in front of our house. Well, the old terraplane's heart and mine each skipped a beat. I dashed in - to find three more Hudsons in the house - Mrs. Cal (Mabel), and her daughters, Grace and Dorothy. They had not counted on staying with us, but thought we could find suitable quarters nearby, and that I might show them around our beautiful city. Our accommodating next door neighbor, who sometimes helps out in the matter of sleeping quarters, had company of her own. So this elastic old house stretched itself a bit - and everybody had a grand time. I have just one fault to find with the guests; they brought so much fruit and tomatoes that I have to work like a beaver to keep them from spoiling.

After having a glimpse into the souls of Grace and Dorothy Hudson, I quote, in all sincerity, Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Florence B. Taylor

Next - 9/24/42 - James Lytle letter. Some Carry the Banner

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